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More Indian priests undergo 'truth serum' tests in rector murder case

Pressure on police as family seek high level probe reporter, Bangalore

March 11, 2014

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Police have conducted truth serum tests on two more Catholic priests from a southern Indian seminary, 11 months after its rector was found murdered.

Narco analysis tests were conducted Friday on Father Sebastian Periannan and Fr Lourdes Prasad, professors at St Peter's Pontifical seminary in Bangalore, Karnataka state, the head of the police investigation told on Monday.

"It will take another 15-20 days for us to get the results," said Pranab Mohanty, Additional Director of Crimes in Karnataka.

He said investigators have several theories as to why Father K J Thomas, 63, was bludgeoned to death on the night of March 31 and April 1 last year.

Police believe Fr Thomas knew his killer and was attacked when he answered a knock on his bedroom door.

In July the seminary procurator Fr Patrick Xavier was named as a suspect and underwent the same test.

Frustrated at the slow progress of the investigation, the murdered priest’s family has approached the state High Court, seeking a probe by the country's top investigating agency, the Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI).

"The court took up the case last Thursday and issued a notice seeking the state’s response to the petition," said Siji Malayil, the family’s lawyer.

He said the court will now wait for the state to submit a progress report on the investigation before deciding if the case should go to the CBI.

Mohanty said he is not surprised by the demand for CBI to be brought in.

"It is a very difficult and sensitive case. We need to move cautiously and it is taking time," he said.

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